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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2016

Qualifying begins: 20 June

The Draw: 24 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June

Order of Play: 26 June

Championships begin: 27 June

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Sunday 22 January 2017 09:14 AM GMT
Australian Open Day 7: Zverev topples Murray as Venus rolls on
Wimbledon.com rounds up the action from Day 7 of the 2017 Australian Open. READ MORE

There will be no Australian Open title for Andy Murray this year after a shock defeat on Sunday which ranks alongside the one which saw Novak Djokovic lose in the second round.

Just when Wimbledon champion Murray must have thought it was his chance to pick up a title he’s been denied in five finals, four of them by Djokovic, Germany’s Mischa Zverev, a serve and volleyer from the old school, produced a performance that John McEnroe would have been - and was - proud of to record the biggest victory of his life. 

Zverev, ranked No.50 and a fellow left-hander, had never been past the third round of a Grand Slam before this week, posting his best ever finish at The Championships 2008.

But he channelled McEnroe throughout, dialling the clock back to the 1980s with a serve and volley game that pushed Murray backwards and forced him to come up with pass after pass.

At first, Murray looked to have his number, but he couldn’t serve out the opener at 5-3 and though he sneaked the second, he was outplayed in the third and fourth sets as Zverev leathered early returns and smothered the net to record a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 triumph that left him, not surprisingly, stunned.

“Honestly I don’t know how I did it,” said the 29-year-old Zverev, who was watched by his brother, Sascha, who lost to Rafael Nadal in five sets on Saturday.

“I was just in a little coma on serve and volley. You should tell me how I pulled it off.

At the end, I got excited, but the crowd (helped). It was kind of easy to stay aggressive but not easy to stay focused. Everything feels a little bit unreal.”

A shell-shocked Murray paid tribute to Zverev’s performance. “It just wasn't meant to be,” he said.

“He served very well when he needed to, especially when he was behind in games. He deserved to win because he played great when he was down, and also in the important moments.

"I was kind of behind in the last couple of sets the whole way. But the first two sets, I had chances. I was up a break I think in both of them pretty early. Couldn't convert my opportunities.”

Wawrinka marches on

As Murray pointed out, had he beaten Zverev, he would probably still have had a tough draw, especially if he’d had to play Stan Wawrinka in the last four. Fourth seed Wawrinka moved within one win of that stage with a 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 win over Andreas Seppi of Italy, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wiped out the last British man with a four-set win over Dan Evans.

Unseeded Evans, who took out Marin Cilic in round two, pinched the first set but was overpowered in the end, beaten 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Venus rising again 

It is 20 years since Venus Williams played her first Grand Slam event but even at 36, she is still a formidable competitor.

The 13th-seeded American, a five-time Wimbledon champion, battled past Germany’s Mona Barthel 6-3, 7-5 and now plays Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.

It’s possible that there could be another all-Williams final here, something Venus, who has not been to a Grand Slam final since 2009, would relish.

“That could hopefully happen,” she said. “We both still have to work very hard to get there. Today I played a qualifier, and she hardly ever missed.

"So it doesn't matter who you come up against, they are coming and they want to win, too. They have nothing to lose. I'm going to be focused on winning one round at a time and focus on doing what it takes to be there.”

Quote of the day

"I think I was born to play tennis. I really do. I was meant to do this." We do too, Venus...

Stat of the day

It’s the first time since 2009 that Murray has not made the last eight in Melbourne and the first time here since 2002 that neither No.1 or No.2 has made the quarters.

Hug of the day

There was a big embrace from mum as Mischa became the first Zverev to reach a Grand Slam quarter final. Although with the way Sascha is going, he will probably follow his older brother's example very soon...

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